Recommendation 5: “When a FideloConso contract is changed to Vertuoz Habitat, the supplier must ensure the consistency of the readings transmitted to establish billing”
1. Customer observation
The complainant’s building had a FideloConso contract with ENGIE, which was terminated on 15/04/2016. This contractual offer is based on the supply of natural gas for the following two uses: heating and production of domestic hot water (DHW). With this offer, each occupant of a dwelling in the building is billed as close as possible to their actual consumption of heat and hot water thanks to individual meters.
On 8/04/2015, the co-ownership association signed a new Vertuoz Habitat contract with ENGIE, with a date of coming into effect no earlier than 1/07/2015, which replaced the initial Fideloconso offer. The Vertuoz Habitat offer also allows individualisation of heating and hot water expenses for each occupant, like the Fideloconso offer, and includes new digital services for monitoring consumption and billing accessible to the occupants and the managing agent.
With a deadline overrun, on 22/10/2015, ENGIE installed new heat and hot water meters related to the new contract. On 15/04/2016, the apartment block terminated FideloConso and switched to the Vertuoz Habitat contract.
On 8/06/2016, the supplier sent a bill of termination to each occupant of the apartments in the building. After difficulties related to the implementation of the new contract, on 3/02/2017, ENGIE sent the bill for commissioning the Vertuoz Habitat offer for the billing of consumption over the period 16/04/2016 to 29/11/2016. Then, the complainant (one of the apartment owners) spotted that the original readings of the bill for heating and the DHW were incorrect, being inconsistent with those of the termination bill dated 8/06/2016. After a lengthy exchange with FideloConso Customer Service and then with their Consumer Service, the applicant failed to obtain the correct billing and called in the ENGIE Group’s Mediator.
2. Mediation solution
The mediation team asked the operator Ecometring, in charge of consumption measurements, for the actual readings of the complainant while also asking TEKSIAL, responsible for invoicing customers, to furnish the bills issued. The Mediation team found a billing error from ENGIE for energy consumption linked to incorrect readings. In fact, when changing the heat and hot water meters, the readings upon removal had not been correctly entered into the billing system. This meant that the customer account was disrupted by the non-compliance of the procedure which required, at the request of the ENGIE Group’s mediation team, a regularisation by the cancellation of heating and DHW consumption.
As part of the mediation process, ENGIE correctly reestablished the billing of the complainant and proposed a compensation of €150 inclusive of tax.
3. Generic observation
When switching from a FideloConso offer to Vertuoz Habitat, termination and commissioning readings may be inconsistent, resulting in incorrect billing.
4. Recommendation / generic solution
ENGIE must ensure that the procedure for the implementation of the Vertuoz Habitat contract, following a Fidelocoso offer, is respected by the various players: those who measure consumption (Ecometering) and those who send out the bills (Teksial).